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Difference between old dual channel SiliconDust HDHR-US and new HDHR-3 US?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So I'm considering the purchase of an older version SiliconDust HDHR-US tuner for ATSC OTA. This is the older dual tuner unit with two RF inputs.  

I understand from reading the Silicon Dust forum that it can be set up for two separate antennas pointing in different directions.  Thats just what the doctor ordered for my fringe area application.

Obviously the new version HDHR-3 US (dual tuner/single input) has new features or nobody would ever want to upgrade.  By downgrading to the older version what features will I loose?  Are there major differences between the two versions?  Are the older units stable and reliable?
post #2 of 22
The new model is really no different than the older dual tuner HDHR performance-wise. Aside from the newer packaging and single antenna input, they both work the same. I've used both models and can't see any difference between them.

FWIW, I have a dual antenna setup on my roof and it works quite well. I'm directly between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. so I can pick up OTA channels from both markets. When selecting the antennas you need to consider using directional antennas so as to avoid signal overlap. The output of the two antennas is combined into a single coax cable using a standard VHF/UHF signal splitter/combiner. If both antennas are able to pick up the same signals, the combined amplitude could overdrive the tuner inputs and distort the signal. I'm using a pair of Antennas Direct Clearstream antennas and they do the job nicely. Just go to www.solidsignal.com and look up antennas for your area. They have an app that allows you to plug in your zip code and it will display models that will work in your area.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks Captain Video. It's good to know that the only real change appears to be the tuner hardware and the trendy case. The older two input tuner is what I need to completely avoid combiners. In my fringe area application combining signals is detrimental to signal strength. Plus the two seperate tuners isolate each antenna that would otherwise further reduce effiency since they are not aimed in the same direction. No worries about signal overload in my localation, it is just the opposite.

One input simplifies installation for most people but it also reduces versatility of unique applications. If the HDHR Tech had dual inputs (and it really should) I would not hesitate buying one.
post #4 of 22
I thought the three tuner device didn't do OTA signals? Am I remembering that wrong? I own both, but have never tried OTA with the cablecard device.

To answer the OP, yes the dual tuner device would be perfect for your antenna setup.
post #5 of 22
the "3" in this case HDHR3-US isn't for the number of tuners, they are referring to the non-cablecard dual not the 3 tuner cablecard model: HDHR3-CC
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by signcarver View Post

the "3" in this case HDHR3-US isn't for the number of tuners, they are referring to the non-cablecard dual not the 3 tuner cablecard model: HDHR3-CC

Thanks.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
A little confusing but, true. Version 3, dual tuner.

Any other comment regarding the differences between ver 1-2 features compared to to ver 3?
post #8 of 22
The HDHR3 actually performs a little better than the HDHR2. It's a little more lenient on the input signal. I don't get nearly the signal cutoffs with my WiFi signal to the HTPC when the micorwave is running with the HDHR3Cc compared to the HDHR2.

The other than, HDHR2 can use either ATSC or ClearQAM channels. The HDHR3, you have to get right model; the HDHR3CC will NOT do OTA (ATSC) signals. I got one but because I wanted the extra tuner, and have the option to add cablecard in the future; I'm on limited basic. But I also may ditch cable completely too, so this model will not work.

Depending on your time table, you may want to wait to wait till the HDHR4 is released. One, you may be able to pick up previous models even cheaper. Two, the new model may offer features you want to use with the DNLA and hardware decoding; maybe there will be mobile phone streaming or Plex/XBMC integration.
post #9 of 22
Your microwave causes issues? Sounds like you need better RF shielding.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
LK,
I think you should get a new microwave before buying another HDHR. Do you feel a tingling sensation when the microwave is running?
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abit Distorted View Post

Hey, thanks Captain Video. It's good to know that the only real change appears to be the tuner hardware and the trendy case. The older two input tuner is what I need to completely avoid combiners. In my fringe area application combining signals is detrimental to signal strength. Plus the two seperate tuners isolate each antenna that would otherwise further reduce effiency since they are not aimed in the same direction. No worries about signal overload in my localation, it is just the opposite.

One input simplifies installation for most people but it also reduces versatility of unique applications. If the HDHR Tech had dual inputs (and it really should) I would not hesitate buying one.
I'm not sure what kind of signal drop you'd get with the combiners other than the normal 0.5dB drop (approx) you get with a coax connection. If you were splitting the signal I'd expect about a 3.5dB drop. The HDHR3 has an internal splitter so you're going to get some loss either way.

Are you considering using a separate antenna for each tuner? This would greatly reduce the flexibility of having dual tuners, especially if you want to record two shows simultaneously that are being received by the same antenna. I'd try combining the signal at the antenna and then splitting it at the tuners to provide the same input to both tuners and see what your signal looks like. If the 3.5dB drop is too much then try a mast-mounted amplifier to boost the signal. If you haven't purchased your antennas yet then consider getting something with a bit higher gain to overcome the signal loss. I use a distribution amp on my system that boosts the signal just enough to compensate for the loss due to splitting the signal. I tend to swap tuners around quite often to experiment with getting the best signal so I need multiple feeds from the antennas.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Your microwave causes issues? Sounds like you need better RF shielding.

yes and yes it needs better shielding. The microwave was put in before I got the HDHR, so I had no idea it would have been issue. The microvewaves is one of those above the stove.

With the HDHR3CC, it's barely noticeable.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

yes and yes it needs better shielding. The microwave was put in before I got the HDHR, so I had no idea it would have been issue.

Total longshot here, but if your house was built before about 1990, such that the above-stove microwave was added later, it's possible that they illegally tapped into the 240 volt line to create the 120 volt circuit. If the house is old enough, that 240 volt circuit may be a three wire circuit, and they're dumping what should be the neutral into the ground.

You can easily check for this type of tap by turning off the 240 volt circuit to the stove and seeing if that also cuts power to the microwave. If it does, and there's no subpanel/breaker for the microwave, then it's likely a very dangerous situation. Even if there is a subpanel/breaker setup, it could be dangerous.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

Total longshot here, but if your house was built before about 1990, such that the above-stove microwave was added later, it's possible that they illegally tapped into the 240 volt line to create the 120 volt circuit. If the house is old enough, that 240 volt circuit may be a three wire circuit, and they're dumping what should be the neutral into the ground.

You can easily check for this type of tap by turning off the 240 volt circuit to the stove and seeing if that also cuts power to the microwave. If it does, and there's no subpanel/breaker for the microwave, then it's likely a very dangerous situation. Even if there is a subpanel/breaker setup, it could be dangerous. .

That sounds like a plausible cause too. Putting a 15 amp 110V appliance on the 30 amp 220V circuit for the oven is very much a fire hazard as the microwave could short out and catch fire without the breaker ever blowing. Also running neutral (intentionally grounded conductor) current on the grounding conductor, while done in the past, has contributed to back-feeding the panel or even death because people assume the ground has no current because under normal circumstanses if it does the breaker trips.Check that out for sure.

Also, put an aluminum foil hat on the HDHR to shield it from the RF coming from the the microwave!
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

That sounds like a plausible cause too. Putting a 15 amp 110V appliance on the 30 amp 220V circuit for the oven is very much a fire hazard as the microwave could short out and catch fire without the breaker ever blowing. Also running neutral (intentionally grounded conductor) current on the grounding conductor, while done in the past, has contributed to back-feeding the panel or even death because people assume the ground has no current because under normal circumstanses if it does the breaker trips.Check that out for sure.

Also, put an aluminum foil hat on the HDHR to shield it from the RF coming from the the microwave!

That 240 breaker could easily be a 50 amp breaker controlling a 15 amp circuit, so yes it's a fire hazard. The fuse for such a circuit would be the wire running to the microwave melting!
post #16 of 22
the house was built in 1993 and completed in December of that year. My family put it in. I can't remember if the house came with it and they upgraded it or not. My family is also mainly nothing but construction workers and have good general knowledge about those things.

It's just the microwave and it's shielding. It was only an issue when it was running. It just cause enough interference for a lowering in signal that MC couldn't detect the tuner. Once off, turned right back on. I would stream movies with Plex, Netflix, Hulu, various online sports, not one issue. Although it could be annoying, I learned to deal with it.

With the HDHR3CC, it's a rare occasion now.
post #17 of 22
"They had to replace my metal plate with a plastic one. Every time Catherine would rev up the microwave, I'd p*ss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour." -- Cousin Eddie
post #18 of 22
LOL!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
So back to the old dual tuner/dual antenna... I know the net result will be operation like single tuner but need all the gain possible without making this a government budget project. This weekend I'll test an 8-bay and unless it really outperforms the 91 XG on both towers the split tuners and antennas look like the easiest path to a reliable signal lock.

So from what I've learned so far the older HDHR works pretty much the same as the new one. If anyone knows where I can buy a new in box early model HDHR let me know. In the meantime i'm buying a used one. I'll post if anything interesting comes out of this. Thanks.
post #20 of 22
Ebay is your best bet. You should be able to pick up a used original dual tuner model for about $35-50.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

The new model is really no different than the older dual tuner HDHR performance-wise. Aside from the newer packaging and single antenna input, they both work the same. I've used both models and can't see any difference between them.

FWIW, I have a dual antenna setup on my roof and it works quite well. I'm directly between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. so I can pick up OTA channels from both markets. When selecting the antennas you need to consider using directional antennas so as to avoid signal overlap. The output of the two antennas is combined into a single coax cable using a standard VHF/UHF signal splitter/combiner. If both antennas are able to pick up the same signals, the combined amplitude could overdrive the tuner inputs and distort the signal. I'm using a pair of Antennas Direct Clearstream antennas and they do the job nicely. Just go to www.solidsignal.com and look up antennas for your area. They have an app that allows you to plug in your zip code and it will display models that will work in your area.

which signal splitter/combiner are you referring to, model/part #, I am also in a fringe area and would like to use two antenna's, a simple inexpensive combiner would be great.
post #22 of 22
Pretty much any UHF/VHF (i.e., 5-1000 MHz) splitter/combiner from RatShack, Best Buy, or Home Depot, just to name a few, should work. RatShack sells a Monster splitter for about $11 that's much better than your garden variety splitter. If you install it outside just make sure you seal all of the coax connections with COAX-SEAL (used to be available at RatShack, but I don't know if they still carry it). If you make your own coax cables be sure to use compression fittings and not the older style crimp connectors. They provide a more solid connection and also help keep out moisture. Check ebay for some inexpensive compression tools and connectors.
Edited by captain_video - 1/26/13 at 12:46pm
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